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Social History Report Template SOWK 321

This social history report is based on Ms. Washburn and the weekly activities that you’ve completed.

This report should be Double-spaced with 1-inch margins, and up to four pages (no more than five). Provide the information in each area identified below, including:

• The questions you would use to gather information from the client.

• A paragraph with the client’s specific and necessary information.

• Guidelines for good reports should be followed.

• At least ONE assessment tool for a section of the social history: the ecomap (for social environment), the culturagram (for cultural environment), OR the genogram (for family).

SOCIAL HISTORY

SOCIAL WORKER INFORMATION

1. What theory did you choose to guide your questions for the client? Why did you choose that theory?

2. What primary social work values guide your work with the client?

3. How will you engage the client in the engagement and assessment stages?

4. Provide a statement to the client as to the need for the social history and why you’re asking him/her/them to share information.

Client name

Birthdate

Contact information

Phone

Address

Social History Report Template SOWK 321

Living situation

social environment

Cultural environment (consider how the client defines culture, which may include ethnicity, country of origin, gender, and others) Religion/spirituality Childhood Family Financial circumstances educational history

Carla Washburn Case Study
Source of case study, Practice of Generalist Social Work online curriculum

Overview of the situation and your involvement

You are a social worker at the Area Agency on Aging. You recently received a call from Anna about her
sister, Carla Washburn. She is quite concerned about her sister and would like someone at the agency to
reach out to her. This is your role. First, read the information Anna provided below.

Background information provided by the sister, Anna

Carla Washburn is a 76 year-old African-American woman who has been widowed for the last fifteen
years. She lives alone in Plainville, a small town in the Northwest. Her small home is in a neighborhood
that has been steadily deteriorating ever since the paper mill-the city’s largest employer went out of
business four years ago. Carla and her husband were both employed at the mill until their respective
retirements. Carla receives a small pension and Social Security. Unfortunately, the recent economic
downturn has put the mill’s pension fund in serious jeopardy.

Ms. Washburn recently lost her grandson in Afghanistan. She had raised Roland Jr. from the age of eight;
he came to live with her after her son Roland and his wife were killed in a car accident fourteen years
ago. Until Roland Jr. turned eighteen, Ms. Washburn was able to collect survivor benefits, funded by
OASDI, to enable her to care for him adequately.

During the time that Roland Jr. lived with her, Ms. Washburn threw herself into his care and activities.
She found that she had nothing much in common with her old friends, because they had raised all of
their children and had more freedom to socialize than she did. Eventually, these friends dropped out of
her life.

Roland Jr. decided to join the Army after his high school graduation, to get money to pay for college.
Shortly after finishing basic training, he married a young woman, Alice, who he met while at the Army
base in North Carolina. Carla travelled to North Carolina to attend the wedding. Although she liked her
grandson’s new bride, she really did not know her. And when Roland Jr. was killed, the Army focused its
family outreach services on the young widow.

Although Carla and her sister spoke weekly by phone for the last fifteen years, Carla has made no
attempt to contact Anna since Roland Jr.’s funeral eight months ago. When Anna called, Carla
questioned over and over how it could be that both her son and grandson were no longer alive while
she, an old woman, still lived. Anna has told you that her sister told her of a recent fall she had had in
her home that left her with difficulty walking. In the course of the conversation, Anna also mentions that
Carla has Type II diabetes, and is insulin-dependent.

When you contacted Ms. Washburn, she refused at first to have you visit and expressed irritation with
her sister for contacting the Area Agency on Aging. However, when you explained how worried her
sister had been and how Carla could ease her sister’s concern if she would consent to a visit, Carla finally
agreed to see you. But she was adamant that she neither wanted nor needed help.

For this activity, you will work in pairs. Each person should keep good notes – you will use these to

work on next week’s pairs assignment. For some questions, you will have the same responses but

for others, your responses will be different.

Carla Washburn Case Study
Source of case study, Practice of Generalist Social Work online curriculum

You are now preparing to meet with Ms. Washburn at her home. Consider each question carefully and
provide a response.

1. What are important characteristics of Ms. Washburn that need to be considered?

2. How might your own identity and characteristics affect rapport and engagement with the client?

3. What specific and concrete actions will you take in your first meeting with Ms. Washburn that
will promote engagement? In your notes, list your concrete actions (at least three).

Pairs practice: Practice the concrete actions with your partner, one of you acting as the social
worker and the other as Ms. Washburn. How does the client respond when you, as the social
worker, take those actions?

4. What are steps that you need to take in regards to self-awareness that will help you work with
Ms. Washburn? What beliefs do you have in regards to working with someone with her
characteristics that could impact the relationship?

5. Review the information for Standard 1 in the NASW Code of Ethics. Which two standards within
that group do you believe are MOST important in this stage of working with Ms. Washburn?

Assessment

6. Which theory/approach is MOST helpful in assessing Ms. Washburn? Choose one and share your
rationale for choosing it.

7. Based on your theory/approach, develop a set of questions (remember – open-ended when
possible) to ask Ms. Washburn to learn more about the situation. In your notes, list at least five
questions to use.

Pairs practice: In your pair, practice asking those questions, one person serving as the social
worker and the other Ms. Washburn. Then switch roles. Use clarifying, paraphrasing and
summarizing in your interview.

8. Which assessment tool (see the tools in Chapter 4) could be helpful in assessing Ms. Washburn?
Choose one and share your rationale for its use. Are there others that you know of that may be
helpful? If so, name them and provide a rationale.

Submit your own notes in the dropbox by October 4 at 11:59 p.m. Once you submit your notes, go
to the case study website (link will open once you paper is submitted) to see more info on Ms.
Washburn and the situation.

6

Ms. Washburn Case Study

1. What are important characteristics of Ms. Washburn that need to be considered?

The important characteristics of Ms. Washburn that need to be considered include being her advanced age. The client is aged seventy-six, making her susceptible to adverse outcomes such as falls. Subsequently, another significant characteristic is her loneliness. The client lives alone and is not socially active; hence the possibility of being mentally affected by the issues she has experienced are high. Also, she is an African American, making her vulnerable to discrimination. Further, Ms. Washburn has experienced several tragedies, including losing her son, daughter-in-law, husband, and grandson. She also has a chronic ailment, a significant cause of distress.

2. How might your own identity and characteristics affect rapport and engagement with the client?

My identity and characteristics are fundamental in creating a rapport with Ms. Washburn. Firstly, I am trained to handle cases such as those she presents with; hence I have the skills needed to handle her effectively. Subsequently, some of my characteristics that will help in our therapeutic engagement include being an active listener; hence, I will listen carefully to all her worries, fears, and concerns. I am also empathetic; therefore, I can understand and relate to her problems.

3. What specific and concrete actions will you take in your first meeting with Ms. Washburn that will promote engagement?

The actions in the first meeting with Ms. Washburn that will promote therapeutic engagement include building a relationship with her. Building a relationship with the client entails introducing oneself and letting her know the role I intend to play in her life. It also includes asking fundamental questions about her to learn more about her situation and the challenges she could be facing. The second process is listening carefully to any information she shares and answering any questions she asks. The process helps create a trusting relationship with the client essential to a positive therapeutic relationship. Thirdly, it is necessary to establish the intervention goals so that the client is aware of what to expect. These actions make the client more trustful and willing to share more.

4. What steps do you need to take regarding self-awareness that will help you work with Ms. Washburn? What beliefs do you have regarding working with someone with her characteristics that could impact the relationship?

The self-awareness steps that I will take to help me work with Ms. Washburn include analyzing my thoughts and perceptions and identifying any biases that may affect how I handle the case. It includes carrying out a self-examination to identify any prejudices that I may be harboring due to the patient’s race or age that may impact the therapeutic relationship and finding ways of overcoming them. It also includes deducing any weaknesses that I may have while dealing with the client, such as being emotionally involved with the case and how to avoid them. Currently, I have no beliefs about working with a person with her characteristics that may affect the therapeutic alliance.

5. Review the information for standard 1 in the NASW Code of Ethics. Which two standards within that group do you believe are MOST important in the stage of working with Ms. Washburn?

The first principle in the first standards inherent in the NASW code of ethics that are most significant when handling Ms. Washburn at this stage is obtaining her informed consent. Before initiating a therapeutic relationship, it is significant for the client to consent to the counseling sessions willingly. The process includes informing the client clearly about what the counseling process entails, such as the services she will receive and its cost. It also includes enlightening the client about other strategies she can use to overcome the psychological distress that she is going through. The second significant essential principle when handling Ms. Washburn is cultural competence. As an older African American adult, the client requires services that consider her distinctive needs. Therefore, a social worker handling her case should know her culture and how it impacts her perceptions of her situation and her response to the therapeutic process. Subsequently, the principle indicates that social workers must be adequately skilled in treating diverse clients respectfully and creating excellent therapeutic alliances with them.

Assessment

6. Which theory/approach is MOST helpful in assessing Ms. Washburn? Choose one and share your rationale for choosing it.

The theory that helps assess Ms. Washburn is the cognitive theory. According to the theory, people are thinking beings that, if they change their thinking, their emotions will also change (M.B-Weger, D. Adams, and J. Birkenmaier). Therefore, the decisions people make are based on the circumstances surrounding them. This is the most appropriate theory when examining Ms. Washburn’s case because it relates to the case’s situation. Ms. Washburn lost her husband, has a son and daughter-in-law who died but fortunately left her with grandson. However, her grandson also died and left her all alone. The client feels like she is destined to live in solitude; as a result, she refrains from engaging in social activities.

7. Based on your theory/approach, develop a set of questions (remember- open-ended when possible) to ask Ms. Washburn to learn more about the situation. In your notes, list at least five questions to use.

The set of questions that I can ask Ms. Washburn to learn more about her situation include:

· What does the loss of three of your loved ones make you feel?

· How often do you interact with other people, like attend social events or visit friends?

· How does it feel to be constantly alone?

· What challenges have you experienced following the loss of your loved ones?

· What gives you a sense of fulfillment?

8. Which assessment tool (see the tools in Chapter 4) could be helpful in assessing Ms. Washburn? Choose one and share your rationale for its use. Are there others that you know of that may be helpful? If so, name them and provide a rationale.

The most appropriate assessment tool to assess Ms. Washburn is in Chapter 4 Exhibit 4.1 (M.B-Weger, D. Adams, and J. Birkenmaier). The rationale for choosing Exhibit 4.1 as an effective tool in assessing the client is that it helps guide social workers and determine the professional relationship between them and the client.

References

Berg-Weger, M., Adams, D. & Birkenmaier, J. (2020). The Practice of Generalist Social Work. Kansas, KS: Routledge.